With Automation Comes Agility

POSTED ON 10/2/2020 – Every month in 2020 has required another round of reinventing how shops do business – but in the fast-paced world of manufacturing, this isn’t anything new. Technological advancements, product innovations, scientific breakthroughs and shifting supply chains are among a few of the reasons why manufacturers must constantly improve to keep ahead of the competition, especially when the competitive landscape now spans the entire globe. Flexibility is more crucial than ever before, and many shops are discovering a simple fact: with automation comes agility.

In a 2018 report, “The Five Trademarks of Agile Organizations,” McKinsey & Company identified four drivers of transformation in the digital age: a “quickly evolving environment,” the “constant introduction of disruptive technology,” “accelerating digitization and democratization of information” and “the new war for talent.” Companies that succeeded in this environment did so through increased business agility and had many factors in common – a core strategic vision, for example, or a community-driven, well-organized structure for human resources. But in manufacturing, the skills gap looms large and solutions for the problem are urgently required in numerous industries.

Naturally, shops have increasingly turned to automation, and the trend is likely to continue. In Raconteur’s “Age of Automation” infographic, this is illustrated through several graphs, and the data doesn’t lie. Robot prices have been declining as labor costs have risen, and the majority of even the smallest job shops have started automating parts of their workflow. While the US lags far behind countries like South Korea and Singapore in terms of automation deployment, the trends remain the same worldwide. As the infographic suggests, the Age of Automation truly has arrived.

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